Government has finally reached an understanding
with the Judicial Service Commission to set up a tribunal to resolve disputes
related to the decisions of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
The Uganda Communications Act 2013 provides for the establishment of a tribunal to hear and determine all matters relating to communication services
arising from decisions made by UCC or Minister under the Act.
The tribunal is supposed to consist of a judge and two other
persons appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Judicial
Government had failed to set up a tribunal citing
lack of funds to recruit judges both at the tribunal and the Judiciary.
Bagiire, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information
Communications and Technology, says they have reached a consensus to set up a
tribunal within the next three to six months.
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UCC has previously been accused of issuing directives outside its mandate like the suspension of
journalists. In most cases the victims of the arbitrary decisions by the
regulator have nowhere to run too for redress.
In April this year, Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC
Executive Director ordered for the suspension of 39 journalists for alleged
breach of minimum broadcasting standards.
The affected media houses had not
where to run for help.
Uganda Communications Act 2013 says funds for
tribunal maybe appropriated by Parliament from
time to time for enabling the tribunal to perform its functions.
include grants, gifts or donations from the Government or other sources
acceptable to the Minister and the Minister responsible for finance; and funds
provided by the commission.